Guest Post: Megan of Walker Fireside Chats, on What it Means to be a Red Raider

photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc
photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

It’s almost football season, y’all.

For the second time since The Corrs released “Breathless,” I, as a UNC Charlotte alum, have a football season to deal with. It’s dreamy, really. It’s hard to believe we actually have a team. (And we’ll take on the Fightin’ Camels of Campbell University in eight days!)

The Charlotte 49ers’ football history is shorter in duration than my junior-year experience. We were a commuter campus without a lot of pride in who we were. That’s changing. Still, I don’t know the full experience of campus pride.

Luckily, my friends do. I’ve already hosted Deb from Deb Runs, who shared what it’s like to be a Hokie. It made me well up with pride, and simultaneously crave a turkey leg. Strange, that. But if Arkansas fans can host a pig pickin’ … (Sorry, Bacon Thompson).

Today, Megan of Walker Fireside Chats is here to tell us what it’s like to be a Red Raider.

Megan co-hosts the Hump Day Happenings, a new and tremendous linkup. Megan is a stellar writer herself. Her One Happy Thing posts are a wonderful acknowledgement of light among the darkness. Check them out.

Please welcome Megan today. And if the 49ers and Red Raiders wind up in the Kraft Cheese Bowl presented by Pontiac, expect the trash talk to start HERE.

# # #

When Eli from Coach Daddy asked me to write a guest post about what it means to be a Red Raider, I felt a huge surge of pride just thinking about my beloved Texas Tech University. I’ve always found it interesting people are so fiercely loyal to their universities, but quickly forget about their high schools. I think it’s because our experiences at universities ultimately shape who we are. They expand on our potential and give us opportunities we never would have had otherwise. We get to meet people who become like family. What other place can change your life so profoundly?

With that said, here’s what it means to be a Red Raider.

What It Means to be a Red Raider

My first experience at Texas Tech occurred way back in the day when I was a little girl. My dad attended Texas Tech in the 1980’s for bachelor’s and master’s in chemical engineering. Some of my earliest memories involve my dad cheering for the Red Raiders during football season. My brother and I even sported some memorabilia during a family vacation:

Texas Tech legacy

When it came time for me to choose a university, I knew I wanted to stay in Texas where most of my family lives. I could have applied to any public university and been accepted, because I was in the top 10 percent of my high school class.

One spring break, my parents took me to my top three choices: the University of Texas at Austin, Texas State University and Texas Tech University. I was looking for a place with friendly people, somewhere I could see myself growing.

No offense to any Texas State alumni, but I hated the campus right off the bat. It was ugly and I didn’t like San Marcos.

At the University of Texas, I was very impressed by the prestige of the university. But it was so spread out and confusing to navigate. We asked some people milling around for directions, and they weren’t very friendly. Being in downtown Austin was also very stressful. Keep in mind, I came from Houston, so I was used to a big-city experience. But I just didn’t feel at home at UT.

When we visited Texas Tech in Lubbock, Texas, I fell in love right away. The campus is so beautiful with it’s Spanish-style architecture. Texas Tech is a fixture of the community and has the largest contiguous campus in the United States after the Air Force Academy, so there was plenty of room to move about. The people were so friendly too!

Texas Tech Campus
Spanish-style architecture across campus – via
Will Rogers Wrapped
The statue of Will Rogers wrapped before a football game – via
Carol of Lights
Campus wrapped in lights for the annual Carol of Lights ceremony – via

Some people accuse my dad of indoctrinating me to love Texas Tech, but really, his high praise of the university just let me know there was something worthy to love at Texas Tech. When my dad took this picture of me at the main entrance, I knew I had found my home.

Texas Tech Seal

So what does it mean to be a Red Raider? It means coming home. It means taking a deep breath of the (sometimes dusty) Lubbock air and feeling like you can breathe again. It means GUNS UP and the Fight Song. It means always being the underdog in the Big 12, but impressing the hell out of people over and over again.

We’re rogue, we’re proud, we’re Red Raiders!

Thanks to Eli for letting me talk about my home.




  1. ksbeth says:

    it sounds like you knew is was your home right away, as soon as you set foot on campus – great piece megan )

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      she looks miserable in that last picture doesn’t she? definitely at home!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Megan – thanks so much for your wonderful post and awesome pictures. I forgot to change the blog background to scarlet! I’ll do it now and keep it that way until Friday …

  2. Loved that last picture and definitely can feel from that and all you shared that you were indeed home. And Eli a side note , your Coors comment at the beginning made me smile and was totally a fan here (even saw them in concert outdoors in the rain).

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      There’s a picture on Megan’s blog of her standing in a Red Raiders crowd with this smile on her face that tell you she’s home … love it. And Corrs in the rain, seriously? So.lucky.

      1. I totally have to check that out. And yup Coors at jones Beach Nikon Theatre back quite a few summers ago on a rainy night and still such great memories from it for sure 😉

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        That song came out in 2000. What??

      3. Yeah, it was 2000 that it came out. I met Kevin in 2003 and we were already together I believe we saw them though in the summer of 2005.

      4. Eli Pacheco says:

        I had nearly forgotten about it until I was writing this post and needed a significant historical marker.

      5. Glad to be that historical marker today 🙂

      6. Eli Pacheco says:

        I wonder if all this has the Corrs’ ears ringing.

        I hope so.

      7. Wouldn’t that be nice, but it confess I dug out my old CD and listened to it earlier while I worked, so you could say they were surely raining in my ears!

      8. Eli Pacheco says:

        Good thing I didn’t write about Rick Springfield.

      9. Lol, not that is a whole other story!

      10. Eli Pacheco says:

        Belinda Carlisle was it for me.

    2. Thank you Janine! I definitely miss Tech.

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        When I lived in Florida, I missed my Niners – and no one even knew who UNC Charlotte was.

  3. Megan, as the one person in here who doesn’t know a thing about football I enjoyed your post so much!! Gorgeous pictures, and I totally get why you liked it there! There are youtube videos of the Carol of Lights ceremonies, you know? Never mind that it’s August, call me a sucker for Christmas lights 😉

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I love the traditions they have at schools like Texas Tech. I hope we have that someday. Christmas lights and all.

    2. Since I don’t live in Lubbock anymore, I’ll have to get my Carol of Lights fix from YouTube this year! My husband Jared also went to Tech, and we’re mourning the fact we will miss Tech football this season!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        You’re going to have to adopt the Gators – or make the trip to the Iowa State game.

  4. Rorybore says:

    I was the first in my family – ever – to actually go to university. So I had no glowing praise reports to help me decide. Just a ton of reading today (pre Google mind you) and lots of campus tours. And I am somewhat ashamed to say I made my choice largely on the beautiful campus; and not so much the educational merits. And, it was far enough from home as to discourage impromptu surprise parental visits. But, it seems it turned out okay in the end – the education was one of the best in Canada, and I could not be happier with the place where I got some learning ….. and did A LOT of learning about life. Purple and Proud! (Western University, London, Ontario)

    1. Purple and Proud, what a cool motto! I love it : )

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Beats Indigo and Indifferent, that’s for sure!

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I wish Western and UNC Charlotte played.

      Wait, would we get to use those whacked-out 20-yard end zones if we played you?

  5. tamaralikecamera says:

    The photos of the statue and the campus wrapped up just about make me a.. what do you call it.. (scrolls up to check again) a Red Raider!
    I don’t know a thing about sports. Really. I know they exist. I know I like to run and hike in the wind on my own terms. (while listening to The Corrs on a walkman)
    I know what it feels like to visit a campus that nearly everyone in my family attended and to feel like I just came home.
    So I felt that and I went there.
    And at my school, the teams are the Scarlet Knights.
    My daughter is named Scarlet.
    Related? The world may never know.

    1. I totally agree feeling at home is important in choosing a university. It will be your home for four years (or longer), after all! I was almost named Scarlett after Gone with the Wind! : )

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        I was almost named Leslie. Let’s never speak of this.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      I think Rutgers named their sports teams after your Scarlet. (Never mind the timeline.)

  6. Kim says:

    Even though I’m a Longhorn fan,I always root for Tech since I’m a Texan living in Kansas!!! My husband and I actually got married in Lubbock (I went to college at Wayland Baptist in Planinview) and I love that part of Texas!!!

    1. My mom went to Wayland, so I know exactly what you’re talking about! I always cheer for UT when they represent the state at all the prestigious tournaments! We respect the Longhorns in Lubbock!

      1. Eli Pacheco says:

        Gosh – we hate the Tar Heels at UNC Charlotte.

    2. Eli Pacheco says:

      Don’t all the other Texas schools hate the ‘horns?

  7. I’m quite familiar with Texas Tech, having gone to school at their rival Texas A&M University. I knew everything except that it was the second largest “contiguous” campus. I wonder what that means since the main campus of Texas A&M University in College Station is 5,500 acres while Texas Tech is 1,849 acres. Nonetheless, guns up! Wreck ’em, Tech!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Your Aggies did a job on the Gamecocks last night, about 90 minutes down the road from here, Russel!

      1. Having watched Sumlin coach at Houston for 4 years and the last 2 years at A&M, I think people underestimate him. He’s been recruiting extraordinarily well, and what he did at Houston certainly indicated that he could coach and win. Of course, we alumni are paying is $5 million annual salary………..LOL

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        That’s close to what I make as a soccer coach … close.

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